One man is involved in a court battle with the state of New Jersey over three bears he shot and killed outside of his Sparta home last October.
The state Fish and Wildlife cited Robert Ehling for hunting out of season and hunting near a residential home and issued him four court summonses, each carrying a $100 fine. Ehling claims he wasn’t hunting, but rather protecting his home and his family from the 300-pound beasts.
“I wasn’t hunting,” Ehling told reporters. “It was going to come in to my house. That was a big animal — you’ll see the pictures.”
The bears were called to his attention early one morning when his wife found one trying to get in through the deck door leading into the kitchen and screamed. Ehling grabbed his shotgun and shot the first bear, who subsequently fell over the railing to the ground below.
Ehling then walked over to the edge of the deck to look down at the animal, and that’s when he saw a second bear climbing up onto the deck and heard the third bear make a noise he described as part growl, part roar and part cry.
In the end, Ehling shot and killed all three animals, but maintains he merely acted in self-defense. The homeowner said he refuses to admit guilt for something which he did not do and has opted to fight the case whether than pay the fines. Ehling is due back in court the end of the month.
[ CBS New York ]